Prestige vs. reputation

Prestige vs. reputation

It’s educational to observe how people who are very verbal about maintaining their good reputation end up losing it. In most of these cases there is a mixup in terminology: they mistake a good reputation for prestige.

While good reputation certainly comes with a certain degree of prestige, prestige is often accomplished in ways that don’t warrant a good reputation.

Examples are one hit wonders who got lucky once and make a living by milking that one thing, corporate psychopaths, ambitious bureaucrats whose motivation is exclusively prestige (name droppers, address droppers, ride droppers, title droppers, etc.), TV celebrities and of course politicians.

The masses are hypnotized by prestige which they pursue as an end, while honor (the foundation of a good reputation) is granted to somebody by a select few. This also explains how prestige without honor maybe maintained while prestige is meaningless for honorable people.

Laszlo Kovari is a writer and the founder of Prakhsis, an organizational development company that has been a pioneer in the concept of organic organizations. As a "consigliere" he has worked with founders, managers, CEOs and board members at startups, mid-sized companies and some of the Fortune 500 across North America and Europe. Laszlo is based in Prague, Czech Republic, supporting clients across Europe.

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